SRI NAGAR: A MiG-21 fighter jet belonging to the Indian Air Force(IAF) crashed in South Kashmir district of Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, killing the pilot on the spot.
“One MiG-21 of the IAF crashed some 10 km short of Awantipore airbase in South Kashmir atabout 10:48am,” Defence Spokesman Lt Col N N Josh said.
The jet crashed in an open field in Mudhama village on the outskirts of Bijbehara town, causing a deep crater on the ground.
“The pilot, who took off from here, was on a routine training sortie. Pilot, Squadron Leader Sourab Raghuvansi died in the crash,” the defence spokesman said. The deceased pilot was a resident of Surat and he had got married only four years ago.
The body of the pilot was retrieved from the debris and flown to Srinagar. The residents of Mudhama said they saw the jet hovering in the sky in the morning. “Within a few minutes it had gone up in flames. We panicked and ran for cover apprehending that it may fall on us,” they said.
“The pilot managed to steer the jet into a paddy field avoiding civilian casualties. According to the villagers, after the jet crashed, people rushed to the spot to rescue the pilot and the co-pilot, if any. The defence spokesman said they are trying to ascertain the cause of the crash. “A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to establish the cause of the accident”.
Asked whether the pilot had got stuck in the 330 KV electricity supply line after he baled out, he said, “I have heard about it, but no witness has corroborated it.”